The early autumn dawn was the colour of apple candy; the wind had cleared the sky and the ripples of clouds were arranged in the shape of shimmering fish tails.
Qi Han sat lazily on the circular sofa on the balcony of the ward, his legs crossed, the chain of his gold-rimmed glasses hanging down and swinging across his jawline.
His long narrow eyes were often raised at the corners when he looked at people. Even if he pretended to be harmless to humans and animals, that sudden glance would make people tremble.
“Giving the Qin family twenty points, I see you’re not afraid of dying.”
The group of managers in the video conference were immediately silent, looking at each other. Someone said with trepidation: “President, we have done an assessment, and the Qin family is indeed—”
“You did an assessment?” Qi Han’s eyes narrowed, “How much did you charge him?”
“No! President! How would I dare…” The man turned pale with fright and immediately got up to express his sincerity. Qi Han took a sip of coffee and said impatiently: “Sit down.”
Judging by the video, Qi Han’s mood was really not good. The meeting had been going on for half an hour and he only glanced at the screen, staring blankly elsewhere the rest of the time. The managers who were familiar with him knew that this was a sign that he was bored to death.
But the truth was just that Fu Ge was painting in the small garden below.
It was hard to choose a perfect viewpoint to be able to watch his wife without Fu Ge noticing while having a meeting; but the little dumpling came from nowhere, chasing after Fu Ge and calling him “wife” again and again.
During the half-hour meeting, the child yelled as many times as he could, and Qi Han’s fingers pinched the cactus on the table just as many times, finally turning the little cactus into a bald succulent.
“Doesn’t a kid of this age need to sleep…” Qi Han gritted his teeth.
The managers thought he was talking about himself, and immediately shivered, “President, because you wanted it so urgently, we worked overtime last night. If you don’t—”
“All right.” Qi Han frowned, his expression indifferent. “Those who worked overtime go to the finance department to receive 150% of their salary overtime pay. The plan has to be redone. This one is bullshit.”
“President Qin loves to beat his wife when he gets drunk. The accounts for the whole of last year were watered down. You give the right to sell the products for women to such a person, he will dare to double the price in half a year. Who can afford it then?”
The man who had said he had done the assessment before lowered his head in shame and anger, while the rest of the managers’ faces eased slightly. Someone muttered in a low voice, “How come President Qi knows it so well?”
“If I didn’t know this, I would’ve been working in vain these past few years.”
Qi Han swallowed the last sip of coffee and looked away: “In short, a company with a comparable asset background. Those who cheat on their wives won’t be given a way to earn money. The meeting is adjourned.”
Since he had to extract pheromones on time in the morning and he had to ensure that he had a good image when he appeared in front of his subordinates, Qi Han could only move the daily routine meetings to earlier and earlier.
As soon as the work was over, Qi Han closed the computer and put away a thick notepad, gently rubbing the cover of it with his fingers. The torn and glued bear was attached to it.
The same bear now appeared again intact on Fu Ge’s drawing board.
“Wife! Why do you keep painting little bears?” The little boy held a bottle of hot milk and asked while drinking.
“Maybe it’s because someone is waiting.”
Fu Ge clenched his fingers, and his entire right arm began to shake uncontrollably again. He had been painting for too long today and was running out of strength.
“Are you tired again?!” The little boy stood on tiptoes and grabbed Fu Ge: “Wife, let me help you!”
As soon as he finished speaking, he himself was lifted up in the air. Qi Han grabbed the back of his collar and put the child aside. The little boy stared at him with a black face but was too scared to speak; finally he moved his shoulders and looked at Qi Han: “You, who are you…”
Qi Han smiled kindly, bent down and leaned close to the little boy’s ear, whispering: “I am your wife’s husband. If you call him ‘wife’ again, I will eat you.”
The little boy was stunned for two or three seconds, then cried out in a loud voice, clutched his little hat and fled.
Fu Ge chased after him in confusion: “Xiao Bao! What’s wrong?”
Qi Han stopped him and said, “He’s sleepy, how can a child of this age not sleep?” As he said that, he gently instructed: “Run slowly, don’t fall.”
The child cried even more when he heard the words, “Don’t eat me, don’t eat me, woo woo.”
Fu Ge: “……”
Fu Ge: “Did you bully him?”
Qi Han stretched out his hand and nudged the tip of his nose, “What do you say, such a big guy like me, how can I bully a kid?”
His fingers moved to Fu Ge’s wrist, “Are you tired?”
Fu Ge didn’t respond, wrinkling his nose and shaking his head uncomfortably, like a rabbit gnawing on carrots. Qi Han looked amused, “Why are you shaking?”
“Itchy…” Fu Ge sneezed twice in a row, flattened his mouth and looked at Qi Han’s fingers, a little aggrieved, “What do you have in your hand?”
Completely forgetting that he had touched the cactus in every way just now, Qi Han leaned closer and looked at him, “There is nothing. I’m not to blame for your itchy nose, here, let me touch it.”
Fu Ge opened Qi Han’s hand. His long eyelashes drooped, and he said softly: “If you do this, you’ll have your bear for today deducted too.”
Qi Han pretended to wave his hand: “Don’t, don’t, I’m scared to death.”
His other hand kept massaging Fu Ge’s hand. He rubbed his palms to warm them up before massaging, and when they cooled down, he rubbed them again.
He had specially studied acupuncture points and meridians, and the position and strength applied were just right. After some rubbing, Fu Ge felt soft and limp, as comfortable as if soaking in hot water.
“It’s fine, but I just don’t have the strength.” Fu Ge said and suddenly raised his eyes, saying hesitantly: “Do you want to… paint with me?”
The massaging hand lurched. Qi Han raised his head abruptly, stunned, “I, can I… I’m not very good at drawing…”
He was so cramped that he immediately withdrew his hand, his eyes darting around helplessly, as if to say that he didn’t have the same drawing skills as Qi Chuan and was afraid he wouldn’t do well.
But when his eyes focused on the drawing paper without blinking, it was obvious he wanted to do it with Fu Ge more than anything else. He himself wanted to help his lover get out of the shadows, not letting anyone else do it.
With his heart feeling like it had been stabbed, the young Beta looked away and said, “You don’t need to know how to draw, just be able to hold me.”
“That simple?” Qi Han didn’t quite believe it.
Fu Ge glanced at him and let out a lazy nasal sound, “Uh-huh.”
The next second the whole person was picked up. Qi Han lifted him up and put him on his arm, easily and steadily.
“Hey! Your hands… be careful!” Fu Ge hurriedly held his shoulders. Afraid of pressing on an unknown wound somewhere on his body, he didn’t dare to sit down and strained his hips.
Qi Han laughed, puffing out his chest, deliberately hugging him tighter and pushing him down, “What’s with sticking out your butt, ah? Five years ago I could carry you around the field like this, now I can too, don’t worry and just sit.”
Fu Ge was still embarrassed. The tips of his ears were red. He looked around guiltily and said in shame: “I meant hold my hand, not me.”
Qi Han slid his other hand from his knee to his calf, then down his cotton slippers. He wrapped both of Fu Ge’s cold bare feet in his palm and squeezed them slowly, saying, “Don’t you know how to wear socks when you come out? Your feet are prickled red from standing where the grass is dense. Do you like this place?”
Fu Ge’s cheeks were flushed, and the rosy colour was matched by the morning light, tender enough to squeeze out water, “What… what?”
Qi Han finally cleaned up the grass on his feet, opened his coat and wrapped his calves and feet in it to keep them warm, casually saying, “I like this place. I will call someone to mow the lawn in the afternoon, so the grass doesn’t stick to you.”
Fu Ge, startled, patted him on the shoulder, “This is a hospital. Can you mow it if you want to? Do you think it’s your home…”
Qi Han was so comfortable being patted that he forgot to restrain himself when speaking: “This is the best private hospital in the city. I control half of the shares. It’s not a problem to mow a lawn.”
Fu Ge rolled his eyes when he heard the words, stopped staring at the painting and seemed to ask casually: “I haven’t seen you for a few years. I don’t know what position you’ve climbed to now. I heard them all call you… President? What do you do?”
When talking about this, even Qi Han’s eyes became serious. Work is a man’s second face, not to mention the fact that his achievements in recent years were indeed remarkable.
The youngest president of the Chamber of Commerce in the history of the capital, he had never had any stains, mistakes or omissions in his two years in office. He had steadily pushed the entire business circle into a new era with his own efforts. This was Qi Han’s greatest pride in more than twenty years of his life.
It was a pity that there had been no one to share it.
Past the age when brats like to brag, he just smiled calmly and said, “I’m in charge of the coordination, and my seat is not yet secure, so I dare not exaggerate.”
The tip of Fu Ge’s brush paused. He turned to look at Qi Han: “What if it is secure?”
Qi Han pinched his face, “Really want to know? Didn’t gege hate to hear people brag the most before?”
Fu Ge frowned and avoided his hand, “The truth is not bragging.”
“Okay.” Qi Han hooked his lips, thought for a while, and said tactfully: “If it is secure, I can probably walk sideways across the capital (do whatever you want relying on your power).”
Fu Ge couldn’t help laughing, “Go on the rampage without scruples?”
Qi Han looked at him indulgently: “Yes, go on the rampage without scruples.”
Fu Ge turned his head, stared at the painting, and then asked, “What if someone troubles me?”
Qi Han blurted out: “Then I’ll chop them up and feed them to the dogs.”
The brush fell to the ground with a snap. Fu Ge looked ahead in a daze, stunned. Qi Han hurriedly comforted him: “Scared? I’m just joking.”
Fu Ge clenched his hands and said with lingering fear: “The way you hit that madman that day was very scary… It seemed that you would really kill him…”
Qi Han sneered and thought, shouldn’t I have killed him after he kicked you so hard? But he only said: “How come, gege, do you think I am a triad? I just wanted to teach him a lesson. The guy has been sent to the police station.”
Ruined childhood, lack of discipline, being born with superior genes and bloodline, and a strong desire for love and family…
These were all the causes of Qi Han’s current character.
He was strong, tyrannical, contradictory, with a low sense of morality and extremely protective of his loved ones, no matter whether they were right or wrong.
He would not deceive others and bully the weak, but once someone touched Fu Ge, that human life would become the most insignificant thing.
He had been in a high position for a long time and was used to being arbitrary and dominating the entire Chamber of Commerce. He would never be soft in choosing a company, but he would fight for the rights and interests of women, and get the bosses who were not of good character out of business.
And countless experiences had shown that Qi Han’s decisions had never been wrong.
Compared to the innocent and enthusiastic boy five years ago, Fu Ge had long been unable to see through him now.
“I’m serious, I didn’t do anything to that man.” Qi Han lowered his eyes and said with a pitiful look: “I don’t have that power either.”
Fu Ge flattened his mouth, as if he was not at ease: “What if you have it in the future?”
“Not even if I have it, what kind of person do you take me for?”
Qi Han patted his hand, and his voice was soft: “No matter how high you climb, no matter how much you earn, it’s all vanity. I don’t care.”
“I just want my people to go out without sucking up to anyone, to drink without having to toast someone, to always be respected and looked up to, to be dignified and casual, to be free and natural.”
He hugged Fu Ge again, his eyes looking at him with devotion and obsession, “Xiao Ge, don’t worry, things that happened in the alley five years ago will never happen again. I assure you that you will be the happiest little prince in the world.”
Fu Ge’s eyes were moist, his warm fingers resting on Qi Han’s shoulders, and he asked in a muffled voice, “Is it all for me?”
Qi Han promised: “I didn’t have a goal before, but there will be in the future. You know the importance of family to me, and I value you ten million times more than myself.”
The tip of Fu Ge’s nose twitched, the corners of his eyes were wet and flushed, and he blinked without turning his head. When he spoke again, his voice was dull: “Won’t you get tired? You talk about yourself as if you are a superman, invulnerable.”
Qi Han smiled, “How can it be? Everyone has weaknesses, and I also have soft spots that can make me collapse with one blow.”
Fu Ge’s pupils shrank suddenly and his eyes lit up instantly. Then he quickly returned to normal: “So you have them too? Isn’t the Chamber of Commerce your own domain?”
“It’s not like this.” Qi Han said after a moment of deliberation: “I am standing in the centre of the capital’s business circle, like a scale that will never be tilted to any side. I cannot have any stains on my reputation, let alone be biassed against any party. Innocence and justice are the two swords that I carry on my shoulders.”
As soon as he said that, Fu Ge patted him on the shoulder and hugged him very lightly, his cheek nestling in the nook of Qi Han’s shoulder.
A dark tide rose in his clear eyes, and he said softly, “I see.”
After the painting was finally completed, Fu Ge was allowed to get off Qi Han’s arm. The young Beta went to pack up the painting tools, and the Alpha stood in front of the easel in self-appreciation.
“Can you give me this painting? Gege.”
“Let’s give it a name?” Qi Han raised the brush, “What do you want to call it?”
Fu Ge turned his head to look at him, pursed his lips and smiled: “The Beginning.”
The movement of raising the brush suddenly stopped. Qi Han didn’t look up, replying in a low voice: “Good.”